Variable Pay enhancements in 1311 plus a few tips and tricks for your project: Interview with Deeksha Mittal
YP: Hello everyone! Today I have the pleasure to talk with Deeksha Mittal about the latest enhancements in the Variable Pay module, part of the SuccessFactors Compensation Management Solution. Before we dive into the innovations from the November release, can you tell us a few words about yourself and your role at SuccessFactors?
DM: Sure, thanks Yannick. I am part of the Product Management team for the SuccessFactors Compensation Management Solution, and I focus specifically on the Variable Pay module. My role as a product manager is to continuously think about how we can improve our customer experience and add more value for our customers through new product enhancements and features. The product management team works very closely with customers, solution consultants and partners to understand customer pain points and develop comprehensive solutions… always staying a step ahead of our competition!
YP: Thanks for the introduction Deeksha. The SuccessFactors November release is again bringing some great enhancements to customers and variable pay is NOT an exception to the rule. I’d like to discuss with you the major features in more details and how they add value to compensation processes. Let’s start with the first feature called “Variable Pay Multiple Business Goal Sections”. In a nutshell: business goals, targets and actual results for bonus plans may be sourced from multiple business goal sections. Can you give us the before/after 1311 view and tell us how this feature will help our customers in their projects?
DM: Sure, Yannick. The ‘multiple business goal section’ feature is extremely useful for our large enterprise customers.
To give you some background first, as you know, using the Variable Pay module you can calculate bonus payouts based on three components: Business Performance, Individual Performance and in some cases even Team Performance. Business performance is tracked against pre-defined business goals for the organization. A large number of organizations define some business goals at the overall company or corporate level and some business goals at the division or business unit level. Prior to this enhancement, customers had to define all of their business goals (both corporate and division level) as part of one business goal section in Variable Pay. Hence, tracking of bonus payouts for corporate goals and division goals separately was difficult.
However, with this enhancement, customers can now define multiple business goal sections e.g. one business goal section for business goals at the corporate level and one business goal section for business goals at the division level. This provides a clean approach to defining business goals at different levels and tracking corresponding bonus payouts separately. Once multiple business sections have been defined in the Variable Pay Program, the corresponding data is available on the planner worksheet, the compensation profile and also the live analytics page.
View of multiple business case section in the Compensation Profile (click to enlarge)
View of multiple business case section on the Variable Pay Planner Worksheet
View of multiple business case section on the Variable Pay Live Analytics Page
YP: the second feature I’d like to discuss with you is called “Profile interoperability”. Using this interoperability feature, managers can view both variable pay and compensation data on the same screen. Getting the complete picture on one screen will support managers in making better planning decisions. I guess this is a feature that our customers have been requested for a while. How can they take advantage of it starting with the 1311 release?
DM: Absolutely. Profile interoperability makes it possible for managers to view both compensation and variable pay data on the same screen, which brings in enormous amounts efficiency into the bonus planning process. With this enhancement, planners can now have access to both standard Salary, Stock and Variable Pay data on the compensation profile by clicking on the respective tabs (as shown on the screenshot). With the ready availability of all compensation/bonus related data, managers can now make more objective decisions for complete compensation planning.We would like to highly encourage our customers to take advantage of this feature in their upcoming comp cycles. Customers need to turn on the ‘compensation/variable pay interoperability’ feature for their plan templates, they can contact their customer success representatives for more information and help in turning this feature on if they haven’t already done so. I would also like to mention that this enhancement is part of our continuous effort to bring both Variable Pay and standard compensation (salary, stock etc.) modules closer and seamless for our users. We will continue to invest further in this direction.
Profile Interoperability: all compensation including variable pay data available on the comp profile
YP: the third and last feature I’d like to bring up today is “Custom calculation for basis amount”. This adds great flexibility at a template level, as it is now possible to define a custom formula to calculate the basis amount for a variable pay program. This really eliminates the manual work/external calculation for basis amounts. Here again, can you give us some use cases for this feature, and maybe your recommendation on when to us the custom calculation option or not?
DM: You’re right Yannick, this enhancement eliminates the need to calculate the basis amounts outside of the Variable Pay module thereby increasing process efficiency and reducing potential errors in the system. Prior to this enhancement, Variable Pay expected the customers to feed a pre-calculated basis amount. Although flexible, this approach however resulted in customers having to perform the basis calculations in external systems. This enhancement provides a simple solution to the problem without compromising on flexibility. Administrators can now define a custom formula and just input the fields in the system. The basis amount will be automatically calculated by the system. As part of this release, we support simple arithmetic operators for formula definition and only numeric fields that are part of your data model can be used in the formula (Pls. contact your customer success representative for more information).
The most commonuse case we have received from our customers is that the basis amount is calculated as: Employee Salary * Target Percentage. This simple formula can now be easily defined on the Variable Pay Program Setup Screen (part of the admin tools). Instead of importing the pre-calculated basis amount, the administrator can now directly import the employee salary and target percentage into Variable Pay.We have also maintained complete backward compatibility and customers can choose whether they want to define custom formula or continue to import basis amounts (as-is system behavior).
Activation of customer calculation for basis amount
YP: thanks a lot Deeksha. I am sure our customers will appreciate your explanations and tips and tricks for those new features. Without going into the details, what is next for variable pay?
DM: Yannick, it is truly an exciting time for our Compensation Solution overall. We are now focused more than ever on making the Variable Pay module an even more robust bonus planning and calculation tool that can be easily adopted by both small and large global organizations.
Besides adding more and more bonus planning features, we are making the product more conducive for global organizations with de-centralized administration, increased control on access to data and administrative features.We are also continuing to invest heavily in a new state of the art UI design with a flatter look and improved navigation especially on the worksheet for planners. Also, as I mentioned in one of my previous comments, we are increasingly focused on making the Variable Pay module more and more seamless with the rest of the SuccessFactors Compensation solution, and you will definitely see more efforts on these lines.
In my opinion, it is time to tighten our seat belts because we along with our customers have an exciting journey ahead!
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